Historical information

The Allansford Artificial breeders was commenced in 1960 As a business its main focus was on the improvement of local herds for local farmers.As a result of 32 district farmers meeting at the Allansford Mechanics Hall, the Allansford & District Artificial Breeders Co-operative Society was formed. The subscription for membership was £7 10s.

The meeting was instigated through the efforts of Noel Garner, a Hopkins Point farmer, who was manager of No.1 and No.2 Warrnambool Herd Testing Associations, and Gethan Fenton, a field officer with the Warrnambool Herd Testing Association.

Bill Quinlan, who had been a herd tester under Noel Garner’s management, became the first employee of the Artificial Breeders.

WCB support was available from the beginning as a room was provided behind the factory offices and the AI fees were collected by the factory from suppliers’ milk cheques. In the first 12 months Bill worked alone with some assistance from Russell Learmonth and Roger Walsh, both Kraft employees. Both factories realised the benefits of herd improvement in view of their overall increased production so membership was encouraged. Semen from the best sires in Canada and New Zealand were made available and farmers also could soon see the benefits.

The initial board of directors, unlike WCB beginnings, consisted entirely of farmers. These included Michael Melican (Wangoom), Gerald Mugavin (Wollaston), Noel Garner (Hopkins Point), Jim Halford (Naringal East) and Grant Warnock (Southern Cross).

Membership grew rapidly and after one year there were 164 members with another 100 joining the following year.

After a year of coping alone Bill was joined by Ray Eccles from Purnim and then Pat Gleeson, later a Warrnambool car dealer. John Fitzgerald became a part-time technician. These signs were attached to the entrance gates of users. In the mid 1970s it became known as the Warrnambool Co-operative and while it maintained a strong rural and farming focus a opened a retail store in Warrnambool in Timor Street in the 1970's which became the largest trading department store in the district. By the late 1990s they had 8000 members and employed 84 full time and 120 casual staff. It met a sorry end in the 2000's.


This sign is a link to a business which had a large exposure in the latter part of the 20th Century. As such it has social and historical significance.

Physical description

Rectangular metal sign, painted red with white text and white border around the edge. Screw holes in corners.

Inscriptions & markings

Member of Allansford & district Artificial Breeders Co-operative Society Limited